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Grape pomace

Grape Pomace Shows Significant Potential in Managing Diabetes

Saturday, November 13, 2010 by: Anita Khalek
Tags: grape pomace, diabetes, health news

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(NewsTarget) According to a recent study published last month in the Nutrition and Metabolism Journal, grape pomace extract is effective in suppressing post-prandial increase of blood glucose. By inhibiting the enzymes involved in carbohydrate digestion, the pomace presents a potential alternative treatment for hyperglycemia management in type 2 diabetics and borderline patients.

Alpha-glucosidase is the key intestinal enzyme responsible for carbohydrate digestion. Typically anti-diabetic pharmaceuticals (also called a-glucosidase inhibitors) work in the same way by preventing the digestion of carbohydrates, therefore reducing the amount of glucose absorbed through the intestine into the blood. Post-prandial hyperglycemia is an early characteristic of type 2 diabetes and occurs when the pancreas fails to secrete enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar.

The study examined the effects of red grape (Cabernet Franc) pomace and white grape (Chardonnay) pomace, both powerful antioxidants and very high in phenolic compounds. The pomace is predominantly made up of seeds, skin and stems of the grapes; it is a heavy waste byproduct in the winemaking industry, estimated to be about 20% of the grape harvest. The pomace, which was selected out of 300 plant compounds for its rich antioxidant activity and high phenolic content, exhibited a significant inhibition of the a-glucosidases which resulted in noticeably suppressing the post-prandial rise in blood sugar. These results have very positive implications for a valuable bioactive source of alternative therapies that have the natural potential to manage type 2 diabetes. Additionally, one of the most abundant phenols in grape seeds is proanthocyanidins (PAC), which has shown tremendous antioxidant power with benefits to the skin's elasticity and against sun damage; it improves flexibility in joints and elasticity in arteries, veins and capillaries.

Subjected to high temperatures, color extractions and distillation, the dried grape pomace obtained for this study still had significant antioxidant activity and concentration, therefore making it a low-cost bio-source for the production of supplements and other alternative health therapies. Currently grape pomace has limited uses; it is mainly used as fertilizer and animal feed. With the rising interest in natural remedies and plant-based medicine, there is high hope for this grape industry byproduct to become a highly sought after compound for health and preventative applications.


Lee YA, Cho EJ, Yokozawa T: Effects of proanthocyanidin preparations on hyperlipidemia and other biomarkers in mouse model of type 2 diabetes. J Agric Food Chem 2008 , 56(17):7781-9.

About the author

Anita Khalek resides in North Carolina. As a total wellness advocate, she is a passionate believer in the healing power of Nature and is inspired by local, organic and fresh foods to nurture her family and friends. Anita is currently working on several projects including a cookbook. Visit her blog for fresh, healthy recipes at myFreshLevant.com.
Questions and suggestions can be directed to [email protected]

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